Author Archive

Book a cottage with a vegetable patch this spring!

Saturday, March 21st, 2015
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Picture this: a cosy cottage in the countryside, a pretty garden with its own vegetable patch, and a charming country kitchen to prepare meals from your freshly picked veggies. It’s a dream-like scenario that many of us will have entertained at some point but with our holiday cottages with vegetable patches, it can become a reality – if only for a week or two! We’ve selected a few of our lovely rural cottages which boast their own veggie gardens to whet your appetite.

School House, Pembrokeshire

Holiday cottage with vegetable patch

School House, Pembrokeshire, Ref. 918918

This beautiful stone cottage in the peaceful Welsh village of Spittal is the epitome of a relaxing countryside getaway; there’s a friendly pub opposite to the cottage, delightful walks from the doorstep and a village green next door. School House prides itself on being eco-friendly with green technology to heat the property and solar panels for electricity. Guests can also enjoy picking herbs, fruit and vegetables from the cottage’s plentiful veggie plot when in season.

Stables Cottage, Devon

Holiday cottage with vegetable patch

Stables Cottage, Devon, Ref. 911946

Stables Cottage is a cosy barn conversion on a working arable farm and is the ideal Devon bolthole for a couple or small family. This four star cottage is pet-friendly and offers a warming woodburning stove in the living area, beautiful countryside views and a large, enclosed garden for your dogs to run around in. The friendly farm owners are also happy to let guests collect freshly-laid eggs and home-grown vegetables for their own use from the farm gardens.

The Granary, Scottish Borders

Holiday cottage with vegetable patch

The Granary, Scottish Borders, Ref. 17400

The Granary is the perfect place for a rural retreat this spring, nestled in the Scottish hills with panoramic views over the nearby town of Jedburgh and the surrounding countryside. The well-stocked vegetable patch is not the only highlight of this stunning property, which also boasts a Jacuzzi bath, games consoles including Playstation 2 and Nintendo Wii, and a sprawling garden from which you can enjoy the beautiful views with a glass of wine!

Dessie’s Cottage, County Cork

Holiday cottage with vegetable patch

Dessie’s Cottage, County Cork, Ref. 4241

A traditional Irish cottage in a stunning rural setting, Dessie’s Cottage is a wonderful retreat surrounded by open countryside, with distant mountain views. As well as boasting its own vegetable garden from which guests can eat, this cottage also affords characterful period features including exposed beams and tiled floors, an open fire and a pretty lawned garden.

Book a holiday cottage with a vegetable patch

Holiday cottage with vegetable patch

Shortmead Cottage, Bedfordshire, Ref. 23362

At Sykes Cottages, we have lots of lovely cottages where you can pick your own veggies so if you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, head to our website or give our reservations team a call on 01244 356 695 – they’re here from 9.00am until 9.30pm 7 days a week.

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Luxury cottages still available for Mother’s Day

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
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If you still aren’t sure what to get your mum for Mother’s Day this weekend (it’s on Sunday 15th March for those of you that may have forgotten!) then let us help. We have some beautiful holiday cottages that are still available for Mother’s Day weekend which would be a wonderful, thoughtful gift for you to treat her with.

Indulge in a shopping trip to York

Holiday cottage near York

Cobble Cottage, Yorkshire, Ref. 913906

For me and my mum, a weekend shopping break would be heaven and if you’re anything like us, then Cobble Cottage in Stamford Bridge is the ideal Mother’s Day break for you. The pretty, winding streets of York are just a short drive from this cottage; perfectly placed for a day of shopping ‘til you drop followed by a tasty afternoon tea or a delicious meal and cocktails, before retiring back to your cottage to relax in front of the woodburning stove. Cobble Cottage is a cosy, converted barn surrounded by peaceful, open farmland, with two spacious bedrooms and an attractive lawned garden to sit out and admire the views from.

Treat your mum to an Anglesey cottage with a view

Holiday cottage on Anglesey

Porth House, Anglesey, Ref. 761

This luxury seaside cottage in Anglesey is a magnificent place for a relaxing Mother’s Day getaway. Just a short walk from the beach and the local shops and pubs, Porth House offers everything you could want from a short break. The cottage itself boasts stunning sea views from many of the rooms and a large balcony where you can sit and watch the sun set over the sea – maybe even with a glass of wine in hand! As if that doesn’t sound relaxing enough, this property also has its own sauna and spa pool, so your mum is sure to return from her holiday refreshed and stress-free!

Spoil your mum with a thatched cottage in Devon

Thatched cottage in Devon

Vineyard Cottage, Devon, Ref. 25133

Does your mum dream of owning a traditional, thatched roof cottage in the heart of the English countryside? Surprise her with the next best thing: a weekend away in one of our quaint and cosy thatched cottages. Vineyard Cottage in Devon is a grade II listed, 18th century property nestled in a quiet village between the Dartmoor National Park and the striking North Devon coastline. This pretty cottage is full of charm and character with exposed beams, an inglenook fireplace and a warming woodburning stove. There’s a pub 5 minutes’ walk away and the village also boasts its own cider company!

To see our full range of holiday cottages available over Mother’s Day, please visit our website! We have everything ranging from cute and cosy cottages with log fires, to larger properties for all the family to enjoy, so you’re sure to find something to suit you and your mum!

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Winter in the UK Competition: Our Winner

Monday, March 9th, 2015
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Here at Sykes Cottages, we love a good competition and for the past month we’ve been running our Winter in the UK photo competition via our blog and social media channels. You can see the original competition here. We asked you to send us your best photos of the British winter for the chance to win a £500 Sykes Cottages holiday voucher and we had hundreds of fantastic entries. It was a really tough choice and we spent quite a while debating over our favourites, but eventually we found our winner.

Winter in the UK

Our ‘Winter in the UK’ competition winner

This stunning photo was taken by Mark Rosser and was submitted in secret by his proud partner, Melody. This wonderful winter scene was taken in January in the village of Krumlin, West Yorkshire. Mark drives past this view frequently but on this particular day, it looked so beautiful that he had to stop and take a picture. Congratulations Mark! We hope you enjoy your holiday vouchers.

I couldn’t leave without sharing with you some of our other favourite entries. There were so many that we loved and unfortunately, I can only show a select few below but we’d like to thank everyone who took the time to enter and share their beautiful photos with us! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for any future photo competitions that we run and next time, it could be your photo featuring on our blog!

Winter in UK  Winter in UK

Winter in UK  Winter in UK

Winter in UK  Winter in UK

Winter in UK  Winter in UK

Winter in UK

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Try something different: Adventure breaks on Dartmoor

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015
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Dartmoor National Park in Devon is well known for its dramatic landscape and its ability to combine four seasons worth of weather into one day, but did you know that it’s also the perfect place to plan your next adventure break? This ruggedly beautiful corner of England is a haven for all things adventure, from walking to cycling and climbing to watersports; here are just a few of the fantastic activities you can do on Dartmoor.

Climbing

If you’re thinking of heading on a climbing or bouldering holiday, Dartmoor is a fantastic place to visit. Famous for its towering granite tors, Dartmoor is ideal for both solo climbers and groups, providing the perfect playground for climbing enthusiasts in one of the wildest parts of the country. The unspoilt and striking landscape offers climbing and bouldering opportunities for all abilities and some of the most popular tors to climb include: Dewerstone, Haytor, Hound Tor, Leigh Tor and Foggintor Quarry. There is a climbing code of conduct in place at Dartmoor so if you’re planning a visit then please make sure you have a good read first – you can see it on the Dartmoor National Park website here.

Watersports

During the winter months, Dartmoor is a magnet for canoeists and kayakers, with some of the best mid-grade white water in the country. Canoeing and kayaking offer a different view of Dartmoor’s unique wildlife from a perspective that’s not available to those on foot. It doesn’t matter whether you’re after a gentle paddle whilst taking in the stunning scenery or something a little more challenging and adrenaline-fuelled, the waters of Dartmoor provide something for everyone. If you’re a beginner, there are also plenty of accredited activity centres in the area that will enable you to find your feet in a safe environment led by expert instructors.

Cycling

With its natural beauty and vast, rolling landscape, Dartmoor is also a popular destination for cyclists. There are over 368 square miles to explore and the routes are varied; quiet, country lanes to wind through at your own leisurely pace, designated cycle routes with panoramic views across the moorlands, and over 350km of bridleways and byways that are perfect for mountain biking. For a great weekend cycling break, why not take on the 95 mile Dartmoor Way which opened in 2013? The route is suitable for cyclists of all abilities and passes through many pretty Devon villages including Bovey Tracey and Tavistock, so there’s plenty of opportunity to stop for nice pub lunch!

Book a holiday cottage on Dartmoor

If you’re thinking of heading for an adventure break on Dartmoor then don’t forget to check out some of the fantastic holiday cottages that we have available in the area. Our dedicated reservations team are on hand 7 days a week from 9am until 9.30pm; give them a call on 01244 356 695 or you can send us an email.

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.

Our top 10 responses to “What does the beach mean to you?”

Sunday, March 1st, 2015
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Last week, we were inspired by manonabeach.com to ask what the beach means to you. Manonabeach has conducted over 988 interviews all around the UK, asking people this very question – you can read last week’s blog post all about manonabeach and his work by clicking here. This week, we’ve compiled a top ten of some the answers we received when we asked this question. The responses are from our customers on social media and also from members of staff here at Sykes. So sit back, relax and prepare to be transported to the beach…

“Peace, relaxing, makes me happy”

Beach in Scotland

Clachtoll, Scottish Highlands. Image via manonabeach.com

“Sunny days lying in the sun and swimming in the sea…heaven”

Beach in Cornwall

Roseland, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“Beautiful, tranquil – most of all, at peace”

Beach in Cornwall

Pendower, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“Afternoons in the sun and plenty of happy memories”

Beach in Cornwall

Little Fistral, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“Wholesomeness”

Beach in Cornwall

Great Lantic, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“Beautiful and sunbathing”

Beach in Devon

Mill Bay, Devon. Image via manonabeach.com

“Peace and nostalgia; the beach is timeless”

Beach in Cornwall

Godrevy, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“Durdle Door, happy holiday and Dave’s first boat”

Beach in Dorset

Durdle Door, Dorset. Image via manonabeach.com

“Childhood memories, playing in the rock pools with my little sister”

Beach in Cornwall

Falmouth, Cornwall. Image via manonabeach.com

“To me, the beach means freedom, relaxation, fun and beauty”

Beach in Dorset

Ringstead Bay, Dorset. Image via manonabeach.com

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this blog post. We hope you’ve enjoyed hearing what the beach means to some of the Sykes Cottages staff and customers and we hope that we’ve inspired you to head to the beach in the not too distant future!

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Louise O'Toole

By Louise O'Toole

Louise loves reading, shopping, baking and cosy country pubs with log fires. A nice cup of tea will never be turned down. She has spent many childhood summers on the beach in Cornwall and walking the hills of the Lake District.